Reviews tagging 'Kidnapping'

Ring Shout, by P. Djèlí Clark

18 reviews

oyveyori's review against another edition

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adventurous dark mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

I never thought I would enjoy a horror story so much but this really was incredible. 

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rorikae's review against another edition

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adventurous dark emotional reflective tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

'Ring Shout' by  P. Djeli Clark mixes fantasy, horror, and the monstrosity of racism in 1900s America to create an engaging story that feels much more expansive than its novella length. 
Maryse Boudreaux hunts Ku Kluxes, monsters that parade as members of the Ku Klux Klan. With her friends and a group of resistance fighters, she is determined to wipe out these creatures. When they learn about a showing of Birth of a Nation that will call a new demon into their lands, Maryse and her friends cook up a plan to take out the group once and for all. 
P. Djeli Clark continues to be one of my favorite novella writers. His ability to create such an expansive, evocative world in such a short amount of words is truly unparalleled. Each of his stories are unique from one another and yet they all suck you in and spin a full fledged narrative even with few words. This is true for 'Ring Shout' as well. 
Through flashbacks and more fantastical experiences, Clark fleshes out Maryse as a character. We come to know and understand her strengths and her weaknesses as she is directly dealing with them. One of the strengths of this story is the balance between the true to life horrors of America during the early 1900s with the fantastical elements that Clark uses to elevate this horror. The mix of folklore, body horror, and badass fight scenes create a story that is fast paced but also full and complete. The ending leaves itself open for a sequel that I hope Clark will write. His worldbuilding shows that there is even more to this world that we could explore. 

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e_lace's review

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adventurous dark mysterious sad tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.0

I wish ending the kkk was this simple 

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ferrumage's review

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3.5


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merle98's review

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dark emotional mysterious sad tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0

The first horror I've read in years and the best book I have read in a while! Featuring magic swords, monster hunters and demons infiltrating the Ku Klux Klan, this story is fantastical and terrifying - and yet so full of truth.

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shomla_msawesomesaucey's review

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adventurous challenging dark emotional funny hopeful informative inspiring mysterious reflective tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0


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ceallaighsbooks's review

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adventurous challenging dark emotional funny hopeful inspiring reflective tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

“Bad wedduh, bad wedduh, bad wedduh, gwine come…” 

“There were two brothers, Truth and Lie. One day they get to playing, throwing cutlasses up into the air. Them cutlasses come down and fast as can be—swish!—chop each of their faces clean off! Truth bend down, searching for his face. But with no eyes, he can’t see. Lie, he sneaky. He snatch up Truth’s face and run off! Zip! Now Lie go around wearing Truth’s face, fooling everybody he meet.” She stops stitching to fix me with stern eyes. “The enemy, they are the Lie. Plain and simple. The Lie running around pretending to be Truth.” 

TITLE—Ring Shout 
AUTHOR—P. Djèlí Clark 
PUBLISHED—2020 

GENRE—Fantasy; Horror 
SETTING—Georgia (Macon & Stone Mountain) in 1922 
MAIN THEMES/SUBJECTS—Black culture & history in America; Black pride; Black resistance; racism; folklore / folktales; Ku Klux Klan; monsters 

WRITING STYLE—⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 
CHARACTERS—⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 
PLOT—⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 
BONUS ELEMENT/S—literally everything about this book was perfect but I especially loved the details that made it feel extra gothic; I also loved the Gullah-Geechee character; and the descriptions of the characters’ clothing was also really good (and romantic ❤️) 
PHILOSOPHY—⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 

Ok here we go. This is a great example of my favorite kind of book. Folklore. (“And them tales got it backward! Rubbish and rabbit propaganda is all that is!”) Storytelling traditions. Revenge of the oppressed. Extremely badass characters. Perfect philosophical underpinnings. Gorgeously gothic and bone-chilling horror elements. And a (seemingly) effortlessly beautiful writing style. An easy 10/10. 

“Who says all the fantasies with sword-wielding heroes and heroines have to be in Middle Earth, Westeros, or even our dreams of Africa past—“copper sun or scarlet sea?” Maybe they can happen right here, too.” — from the Acknowledgements section 

There’s a climax the story is leading up to and part of you thinks you know what it’s going to be and then when you realize a literal *half* a beat before the MC does what’s going to happen you get actual chills. I felt like I was knocked sideways—I didn’t see it coming, and yet it was the most perfect twist for the story. Even thinking about it now I’m getting goosebumps again. 

And *then* the way the MC takes that twist and her reaction to it is 100% perfect. The deeper philosophy, I should say the many layers of deeper philosophy, to this story is some of the best I have ever encountered. Solid, real, and fully-formed in the mind of the author and excellently communicated through the characters and action of the story. 

“The Shout keeps going, whirling into the night. Like Judgment Day.” 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 

TW // racism, bigotry, slavery, genocide, mentions of lynching, PTSD, colorism, body horror, gore, death, violence, abduction 

Further Reading— 
  • the entire syllabus included with my purchase of this book from Decentred Lit in Jamaica! in particular… 
    • books I have: Kindred, by Octavia Butler 
      • Mules and Men, by Zora Neale Hurston 
      • A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle 
      • Sister Outsider, by Audre Lorde 
      • Beloved, by Toni Morrison 
    • books to get: the Annotated African American Folktales, by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Maria Tatar 
      • all of P. Djèlí Clark’s other books including The Night Doctors 
      • Searching for Sycorax, by Kinitra Brooks 
      • The People Could Fly, by Virginia Hamilton 
      • Hammers on Bone, by Cassandra Khaw 
      • The Ballad of Black Tom, by Victor LaValle 
      • Shout Because You’re Free, by Art Rosenbaum 

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thesaltiestlibrarian's review

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adventurous challenging dark hopeful mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

RTC

Y'know. Thanksgiving stuff. I'll get to this later this week.

 ***

Thanks to Edelweiss for the ARC. The views included herein are mine alone and may not reflect the views of the author, publisher, or distributor.

Talk about celebrating blackness!

I started reading Clark this year when I picked up his novella The Haunting of Tram Car 015. That alone was flavor enough to get me hooked. I mean, come on. Hunting spirits in 1920s suffrage-era Steampunk Cairo? Every box is checked. Lately I’ve been reflecting on the use of cosmic horror to empower and tell the stories from marginalized people, and while I’ve yet to see it explore disability (note to self: write that), I LOVE that authors are using it to explore race!

Our story starts with Maryse and her two best friends, Chef and Sadie, scoping out some Ku Klux Klan members and baiting monsters with an animal carcass behind the building they’re stationed on. We’re thrown into the story real quick when the monsters--Ku Kluxes--get blown up by Chef, and one of them gets real mad.

Welcome to 1920s Georgia, where The Birth of a Nation has successfully brainwashed a bunch of angry white southerners into funneling their hatred towards brown folk into a terrorist organization: the Ku Klux Klan. But little do they know that creatures called Ku Kluxes can take over their bodies and worse, appear to regular people as men themselves. But Maryse isn’t regular, far from it. She can see Ku Kluxes plain as day and in battle, summons an ethereal sword to fight them. A sword powered by the trials and righteous anger of black people all the way back to the beginning of the slave days in Africa.

Hold me back, because that’s super frigging cool and I can’t get over it.

Anyway, back to the summary. When a new butcher shop opens and a strange man summons Maryse there in a dream, the stakes reach new heights and the literal fate of the world rests in her hands. Well, her and her Gullah grandma, a spiritual woman who summons light magic and bottles it.

Not only was the action unstoppable and the characters both badass and relatable, the culture of a little-known South Carolina community of black people simply gushes from these pages. The Gullah community has such representation here, and it’s amazing to me how much I still don’t know and have to learn about the little nooks in our vast country. I didn’t quite know what a juke joint was before reading this, and I had seen Shouts before in media and books, but nothing expounded upon and represented like in Ring Shout. There’s even folklore in here I’ve never heard of before, which is impressive considering how much I take in about that kind of stuff on the daily!

The Night Doctors were eerie and silent and one of my favorite parts of this book. Dr. Bisset sent goosebumps down my spine. That’s hard to do! I’m not easily moved or given the creeps. He and the Night Doctors did both.

Like I mentioned earlier, the action in here is haunting and captivating and brutal. Maryse coming to terms with her own hate and fueling her sword with righteous indignity instead gave me chills. And that final confrontation? Insane. (But I’ll leave that for you to read for yourself and find out.) Loved that quantum physics come into play here too.

The only reason I gave this book four stars instead of five is because I felt like we could have used more involvement from the Shouts and Nana Jean being a total badass a bit more often.

I’ve never found Lovecraft to be scary or particularly horrific. For the so-called father of cosmic horror, he was only “meh” at it. Writers like P. Djeli Clark have taken the notches up to eleven, and I could feel the insignificance of being a human in this cold universe. On the back end of that, though, there’s the love and comfort of community and family. As much as we are tiny and alone in this void and vacuum, we’re certainly not abandoned. And that more than any other theme shines in Ring Shout

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